Market Commentary: The Goldilocks Jobs Report

Share Post: facebook Created with Sketch. twitter Created with Sketch. linkedin Created with Sketch. mail Created with Sketch. print Created with Sketch.

The December payroll report was yet another upside surprise. Monthly payrolls rose by 223,000, above expectations for a 200,000 gain. As Fed Chair Jerome Powell has noted, the economy needs to create about 100,000 jobs a month to keep up with population growth. That’s less than half the current pace.

  • Employment data continues to show strength, but we are also seeing better news on wages.
  • December was historically weak, which has many investors worried. But those concerns could be overblown.
  • Santa Claus came to town, which is one less worry for investors.

The good news from the report is hourly wages rose less than expected. Hourly wages were up only 0.3%, compared with a huge initial 0.6% jump the previous month. The other bit of good news is November’s initial 0.6% rise was revised down to 0.4%. This matters because the Fed needs to see signs that wage growth is slowing, which are finally appearing. Is there farther to go? Or course. But this lowered trend is quite welcome.

The jobs report had a Goldilocks feel to it. Just like the fairytale, the data was not too hot nor too cold. The economy creating more than 200,000 jobs but hourly wages slowing down is a pretty good combo at this stage of the cycle.

A Bad December

Many market watchers have said the stock market’s poor performance in December could be a warning sign. Historically, the last month of the year is quite strong for stocks. But as with much of last year, that wasn’t the case in 2022. In the end, the S&P 500 fell 5.9%, marking one of the worst Decembers ever and the worst since 2018. So, how worried should investors be?

It turns out that very poor final months of the year haven’t typically been the warning signs we might expect. December 2018 for instance was the worst December ever for stocks, and they went on to gain nearly 30% in 2019. In fact, the last four times the S&P 500 fell 4% or more in December, the following years were up three times for gains of 38%, 26%, and 29%. There are many worries out there, but a big drop in December apparently shouldn’t be one of them.

 

Santa Came to Town

Let’s end on some good news.

Santa Claus did come to town, as the seven days that encompass the well-known Santa Claus rally were indeed higher. Although many people think the Santa Claus rally takes place during the whole month of December, in reality it is the final five days of the year and first two days of the new year. These seven days sported a gain of 0.8%, the seventh consecutive year stocks were higher during this historically strong period.

These seven days are higher about 80% of the time, and no period is more likely to be positive. At Carson, we take note when the rally does not occur as this typically is a warning sign, such as it was in 2000 and 2008.

The markets present many worries, but the large drop in December and the Santa Claus rally should not be among them.

 

This newsletter was written and produced by CWM, LLC. Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly. The views stated in this letter are not necessarily the opinion of any other named entity and should not be construed directly or indirectly as an offer to buy or sell any securities mentioned herein. Due to volatility within the markets mentioned, opinions are subject to change without notice. Information is based on sources believed to be reliable; however, their accuracy or completeness cannot be guaranteed. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

S&P 500 – A capitalization-weighted index of 500 stocks designed to measure performance of the broad domestic economy through changes in the aggregate market value of 500 stocks representing all major industries.

The NASDAQ 100 Index is a stock index of the 100 largest companies by market capitalization traded on NASDAQ Stock Market. The NASDAQ 100 Index includes publicly-traded companies from most sectors in the global economy, the major exception being financial services.

A diversified portfolio does not assure a profit or protect against loss in a declining market.

Compliance Case # 01616683

Share:
facebook Created with Sketch. twitter Created with Sketch. linkedin Created with Sketch. mail Created with Sketch. print Created with Sketch.
Share Post: facebook Created with Sketch. twitter Created with Sketch. linkedin Created with Sketch. mail Created with Sketch. print Created with Sketch.

RECENT POSTS

Market Commentary: As Goes January, So Goes the Year

Last week the stock market rally continued, with various sectors showing renewed strength. This time a year ago, defensive areas, such as utilities, consumer staples, and health care, were leading. That was a warning sign, and it sure turned out something was wrong. Today small-caps, cyclic …

Market Commentary: New Market Highs are Possible in 2023

Stocks sold off early in the week on disappointing retail sales and industrial production numbers, but they staged a nice bounce on Friday to close out the week. Although some recent data has been disappointing, inflation data continues to show fast improvement, with producer-level inflatio …

Market Commentary: Welcome, 2023!

After one of the worst years ever for investors in 2022, we are quite happy to report that 2023 is off to a much better start. The S&P 500 is already up more than 4% for the year and flirting with the round number of 4,000. Optimism that the economy can avoid a recession (more …

Market Commentary: Will stocks ever bounce back?

The S&P 500 lost 19.4% in 2022, marking the worst year since 2008 and the fourth worst since World War II (behind 1974, 2002, and 2008). The big loser was the NASDAQ, which fell more than 30% thanks to large-cap tech and growth names lagging the overall market significantly. On the flip …
1 2 3 34 35 36

Get in Touch

In just 15 minutes we can get to know your situation, then connect you with an advisor committed to helping you pursue true wealth.

Schedule a Consultation